Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Universities Need Credible Plagiarism Policies

Recently I was trying out the TurnItIn  plagiarism detection software. So I fed in a plagiarism policy from a leading university, which showed a very high score, indicating material had been copied from elsewhere. It turned out that this was not plagiarism, just references to the policy in other documents by the university and in published papers. But there were a couple of cases where other educational institutions seemed\to have very similar wording in their own plagiarism policies. What worried me more was that most of the university plagiarism policies I looked at had no references cited. There are tens of thousands of documents on Australian university websites which say students should cite sources and warn of  penalties for not doing so. But the students could be forgiven for being confused when these thousands of documents look very similar, with no sources cited, saying originality and citing sources is important.

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